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Last updated 8:25AM ET
September 19, 2018
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First News: 1st quarter home sales in Santa Fe are up. (listen)
(KSFR) - The Santa Fe Area Realtors Association reports a pickup in home sales during the first three months of this year, but the median price went down a fraction. They say the number of stand-alone homes sold in the city and the county was up about 16 percent to 249 units. The median sales price was down a few thousand dollars to $352,000. The association says sales were helped by low mortgage rates and also by the fact that sellers seemed to be pricing their homes more realistically to reflect the economic climate.

Santa Fe City Council has endorsed a proposal that will waive film permit fees for filmmakers enrolled in the state's film tax rebate and credit program. It's part of a larger "Shoot Santa Fe" initiative hoping to foster more economic development for the local film and television industry. The waiving of the fees for shooting on city-owned properties which currently run between $25 and $100 per day was championed by councilor Rebecca Wurzburger and backed by Mayor David Coss. Both city officials plan to represent Santa Fe at a June conference of entertainment industry location managers in Los Angeles.

The state education department is starting a new system for grading how well teachers are performing in their jobs. It's a requirement set by the federal education department if New Mexico is to keep its waiver from the No Child Left Behind Act. Teachers will get one of five ratings, ranging from exemplary at the top to ineffective at the bottom. The current system has just two ratings.

Another forum of candidates for the Public Regulation Commission comes up tonight at 6:30 at the Santa Fe Woman's Club on Old Pecos Trail. It follows the first District 3 forum held last night in Eldorado. The candidates running for the position are Democrats Valerie Espinoza, Brad Gallegos, Daniel Maki and Virginia Vigil.

Bus ridership is up in Santa Fe. The transit department says the past year saw an increase in riders of about 9 percent. In all some 970,000 passenger trips were taken. The most traveled route is Cerrillos Road.

An important water aquifer that runs from beneath Santa Fe to Socorro County appears to be rising. That's the word from the U.S. Geological Survey. KRQE television reports that the aquifer has risen 10 to 15 feet in some areas in the last year. Until this point, the aquifer has been depleting about 3 feet a year. Experts are giving the credit to the San Juan/Chama water project and to conservation. They say the Duke City last year used 8 billion gallons of water less than was used almost 20 years ago.

Major General Kenny Montoya, the highest officer in the New Mexico National Guard, has resigned his position as Adjutant General of New Mexico. General Montoya has held the position since 2003. Army National Guard General Jay Bledsoe will serve as Acting Adjutant General until a replacement is selected.

Downstate near Silver City, a 1,000 acre wind-driven grassland fire has been stopped from spreading further with crews working on further containment. The Mccauley Fire started Wednesday afternoon when sparks from a train ignited grasses along a section of track. Burning on mostly private land owned by the McCauley ranch family, the fire briefly threatened several structures but was beaten back by firefighters.

Weather for Santa Fe - mostly sunny and cooler today and Friday with highs in the low 60s. Overnight lows in the upper 30s. A cloudy and colder weekend in store with daytime highs in the upper 40s and overnight lows in the upper 20s. Both Saturday and Sunday bring a 20% chance for showers each day with snowshowers at night.
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